The Assamese Magh or Bhogali Bihu is a harvest festival. But some people may not know that the Bhogali Bihu is also called a festival of food. The name Bhogali denotes enjoyment with abundance.
The Bihu eve
The Magh bihu eve or Uruka falls on the last day of the Assamese Pooh maah. On the Magh bihu Uruka night, the Assamese people organise feast in field. They build bhela ghar with bamboo and take feast there.
The Assamese Jalpaan, a kind of sweet Assamese traditional light meal prepared from different rice, is an important part and parcel of the Magh bihu. On the second bihu day, i.e. the main bihu day, the Assamese people take Jalpaan and the day starts with it.
The Magh Bihu:
The Assamese people celebrate the Magh bihu with pomp and gaiety. On the main bihu day, every Assamese people get up early in the morning and take bath with others. The ceremonial bath has also a special significance.
The Meji or Bonfire:
The Meji or Bonfire is the main thing of the Assamese Magh bihu. It is a tradition that the Assamese people light the bihu meji in the presence of all their society members. They eat sweet potatoes and other food items near the meji. They prepare the sweet potatoes in the meji fire.
The Magh bihu prayers:
After lighting the meji, the Assamese people offer their prayers to the god of fire and seek blessings from him. It is a Magh bihu ritual. They offer betels and coconuts and other things to the god during the prayer.
Hilloi or Bamboo guns:
The hilloi or bamboo gun is also a part and parcel of the Magh bihu. It is made of bamboo. The Assamese youths both boys and girls play the hilloi as a part of fun making after the lighting of the meji.
The buffalo-fight is also a part and parcel of the Magh bihu. The buffalo-fight is organised in an open field and the people gather there to watch it . The owner of the wining buffalo receives awards.
A competition among some species of birds is also organised in the Magh bihu. Such things make the bihu day quite enjoyable and attractive for all.
As a part of the Magh bihu, the Assamese people also organise egg-fight.
The Celebration of life:
The Magh bihu tightens the societal bonds. It creates and sends the message of brotherhood and understanding among the people.